Increasing Intelligence-led Law Enforcement Efforts in the Tenasserim Range

Timeframe:  2020 - 2021
Country/Region: Thailand
Partner: Zoo Zurich

The forests on the Thai side of the Thailand-Myanmar border are known as the Tenasserim Range and are home to diverse wildlife animals such as elephants, tigers and many other threatened wildlife species. Most species in the area are threatened by poaching at different levels: tigers, for example, are directly poached but are also impacted by the illegal hunting of their preys. In 2004, WCS Thailand started working with the national government in order to improve the ranger patrol system and halting the chronic historic poaching of tigers and other wildlife. The improved SMART-based patrol system has significantly reduced poaching incidents in the Tenasserim Range as indicated by the reduction of poaching camps found in the area.

However, there are still continued efforts by poachers to illegally source wildlife from the area. Fondation Segré partnered with Zoo Zurich, in collaboration with WCS, to establish an intensified protection of the region and its threatened species. Zoo Zurich and WCS already cooperate on projects in both the Western Forest Complex and Kaeng Krachan National Park within the Tenasserim Range, and are aiming to initiate a new approach to build on work to date and further strengthen their support to improving anti-poaching efforts. The present project in particular will add a criminal intelligence-led approach to leverage the success of the existing law-enforcement patrol system. It is critical now, that in addition to continuing patrolling, law enforcement officers have the ability to identify, investigate, and interdict poachers and traders, particularly those who have a disproportionately high impact on wildlife populations. By enhancing the capacity of law enforcement officers to identify offenders and execute pre-emptive enforcement action, interdiction and prosecution rates will hopefully increase resulting in higher deterrence against wildlife poaching.